Before I visited the beautiful city of Pisa, I heard that there is nothing else there to see or do except the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but it is definitely not true.
It is remarkable and worth exploring as the city of Pisa played an important role in Italy’s history.
It was a major seaport and a major centre of trade, attracting thousands of people even before becoming today’s tourist attraction.
In this post, I will not focus on the city, but I will definitely let you on some of the things you could do and see there.
- It took almost 200 years for the tower of Pisa (or Torre Pendente di Pisa in Italian) to be built and it is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Pisa.
- Pisa got its name from a Greek word meaning “marshy land “.
- There are several other towers in Pisa that are also sinking.
- Galileo was baptized in the baptistery in 1565.
- The tower keeps leaning at a rate of two millimetres a year.
Getting to the Tower:
How I got here was pretty amazing. I took a train from the Port of Livorno, a beautiful city on the coast of Italy, for a few euros and arrived at the station in Pisa.
We obviously expected to see the Tower first thing when we hopped off the train, however, it took us a while till we find how to get here.
With so many tourists each year, one would think that directions would be easier to get, but it actually takes a while.
Make sure you come prepared. Still very easy to visit as a day trip, however, only once do you have directions!
We had a choice of getting the bus to the tower, however, I and my friend Sage luckily decided to take the walking path.
The small little streets were remarkably charming and we felt extremely relaxed although we were tight on time.
Passing through the gorgeous Romanesque architecture of Pisa’s street was a reward for the long walk, but not only that, I got to do some nice shopping as well.
On the way to Pisa there are some fine leather shops, so bear it in mind if you are looking for a new genuine Italian leather jacket! (Unless you are vegan…)
As soon as we left the station, a small, cute coffee shop drew our attention and we decided to get some local pastries and of course a cup of espresso macchiato to charge us for the long walk to the tower.
We felt the Italian vibe rushing through us and enjoyed a couple of more minutes in the coffee shop and just relaxed under the sounds of the carefree Italians chatting around us.
It was surprising how many locals were gathered at such a touristy place.
Italy is the only place where locals mix so well with the tourists.
For example, in places like Greece, locals avoid touristy areas and do not let tourists in Greek clubs either, so no mingling or interaction with locals is possible unless they are looking for it.
Anyway, circling back to the shopping street, there are many local fashion shops and well-known mainstream fashion brands like Zara and Bershka.
There is something for everyone, so I would definitely recommend checking out the local stores as well, as Italians have a good contribution to fashion.
In about 20-30 minutes of walking, you will finally arrive at the actual tower of Pisa!
It is amazing as when you first see it, you realize it is in fact leaning and much more amazing than any pictures of it can be.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The closer you get to the Tower, the more souvenir shops we meet and the cheaper they get.
Make sure you wait till the end before buying your souvenirs. Keep your belongings close to you and be careful as the biggest amount of pickpocketers is close to the Tower.
Obviously, we had to take pictures at the UNESCO listed Piazza Del Duomo where the bell-less Bell Tower of Pisa leans.
The bell was removed to relieve the weight from the structure.
Both the Bell Tower and the magnificent Cathedral are the highlights of visiting Pisa, however, the whole experience getting here was amazing and worthwhile.
To make this trip complete and extra cheesy, what better could we do than the cliché and done to death by tons of people around the world picture supporting the Leaning Tower?
Of course, a little gelato on the way back was a must to cool to heat down.
I hope you get to go to Pisa and enjoy your trip!